Traveling as a nomad can be liberating, but traveling with family can sometimes be more stressful than enjoyable. Dealing with several personalities, ages, generations, and races in one trip can spell disaster if not planned and organized correctly—and the last thing you would want is to destroy a long-awaited family vacation and send everybody home mad and sad.
Planning a vacation with family can be stressful—and let’s admit, sometimes, family are the worst people to deal with, especially when trying to reach a consensus. Here is an expert roundup of the tips and tricks you may want to consider and discuss beforehand with the pack to make sure that your long-awaited trip pulls through carefree and enjoyable for the whole family.
Give everyone assignments
Going on a trip is not a one-person show. There are multiple things to consider and think about when going on a trip—from accommodations, transportation, food, budget, and itinerary—so the best way not to get overwhelmed over so much information is to distribute responsibilities among the adults.
You can have one person be the overall trip manager to oversee how things are panning out in the bigger picture and the overall budget. The general trip manager can coordinate with family members tasked with accommodation, transportation, tourist locations, entertainment, etc., to ensure everything is in order before and during the trip and that budgets are followed.
Plan and decide altogether
Whether heading to the big towns or going down to the small towns for the holidays, schedule regular meetings to plan with relevant people or all people involved, whichever works best for your group. Sometimes some family members don’t want to be involved in the planning stage at all, so it’s best to make sure that they are agreeable with however the results of the planning pan out.
According to Tory Jon, Founder of Camper FAQs, “A family trip is a team effort, and the best way to ensure that the trip is enjoyable for everybody is to hear all opinions—good or bad.”
Consider a travel package
Planning a trip from scratch is not for everybody, especially those in big groups. If you have the budget, why not get travel packages?
Travel packages give you a stress-free option of having your trip planned out for you from your origin to your destination. You won’t have to worry about which hotel to book or where to find transportation from one location to another, as a travel agent will plan everything for you. Just make sure you coordinate and double-check the details before your trip!
Be wary of everyone’s individual needs
Being on a family trip means you’ll be in the company of family members of all ages, gender, and condition. That said, family members with specific needs must inform trip organizers beforehand about what they should consider and avoid for a carefree family travel. Some examples are:
- Religious practices/beliefs
- Children’s needs
- Internet and connectivity needs
- Injuries or medical conditions
- Assisting equipment for senior citizens
Nancy Mitchell, RN at Assisted Living, says, “Having children or senior citizens can be a challenge during a trip, but that doesn’t mean they should be left out of your travel plans. Your grandmas and grandpas love hanging out with family and going on trips, despite their old age, making the experience even more unforgettable.”
Be ready for the worst
No matter how long and meticulous things are planned out, nothing is ever perfect—and the same is true with family trips. From a missing suitcase to a sudden hospital run, taking necessary precautions and fallbacks for these uneventful circumstances will help minimize the mental and financial impact.
What you can do to prepare for and avoid the worst, like emergencies, accidents, or sickness, are:
- Have essential medicines and first aid kits ready
- Be prepared for bad weather
- Try to work on a buddy system. Let pairs be responsible for each other throughout the trip.
- Carefully read reviews on the safety and sanity of your accommodations
- Get travel insurance packages
Anthony Martin, Founder, and CEO of Choice Mutual, says, “Travelers don’t often realize how important travel insurances are until something happens to them or their belongings. They are not just unnecessary travel costs. When worse comes to worst, your travel insurance will lift a huge financial burden on your shoulders.”
Let things go
If there’s one thing that helps with carefree family travel is when everybody on the team knows when to give way and let simple things go.
Not everything warrants an argument. Remember that, on a trip, your goal is to have a good time with your company, and keeping disagreements at bay will ensure a more peaceful and enjoyable trip for all.According to John Gardner, Co-Founder & CEO of Kickoff, “The most difficult thing about dealing with human relationships is that we’re all built differently, and trying to reach a consensus and letting simple disagreements go is all a part of keeping ourselves healthy, physically, mentally and emotionally.”
Special thanks to Alejandra Leyva for putting this together!